The Stark Lessons After Mueller

We are just emerging from a traumatic nearly two-year-long poltiical drama that will surely be written about in history books. It has created a national schism that’s left permanent scars including between disagreeing family members, political parties and the public’s trust of the media.

While the so-called Russian collusion scandal has not yet played out entirely, it is already time to ask ourselves what we can learn from it.

The scandal was born of the body politic, an organization that has disintegrated into a game of media-assisted character assassination coupled with a scorched earth policy aimed at attacking every person close to the opposition candidate. Today it is routine to viciously attack those who embraces different political views even if it means using allegations that are ten, twenty or even thirty years old.

For the health of the republic this has to change.

To those who continue to sputter that something must be wrong because Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued 34 indictments (!)– slow down. 25 of those indictments named various Russian citizens, including GRU intelligence agents and three Russian companies. They were all charged with various degrees of meddling in our 2016 presidential election – from conspiracy to commit computer crimes and  identity theft to money laundering.

Manafort Mug Shot

Five Americans who worked for candidate Trump were also indicted, mostly, for lying to federal investigators. A sixth, Paul Manafort, has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for crimes including  tax fraud, money laundering. obstruction of justice and witness tampering.  No Americans were found to have been working with the Russians to sway the election.

To the democratic presidential candidates currently on the stump righteously demanding the release of the complete Mueller report (!) – stop grandstanding.  That goes for leaders in the House and Senate who keep beating the drum for the Attorney General to release the entire report.  Everyone knows that is already destined to happen just as soon as classified information and confidential grand jury details are legally omitted.

As for those members of Congress who spent months insisting on cable news programs that there was “direct evidence of collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russians (Rep. Adam Schiff-D.-Calif.); or that President Trump was a Russian agent who “betrayed our country” (Rep. Eric Swalwell– D.-Calif.); or that Congress must continue to investigate  because, as Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) recently put it,  “We do know, remember, in plain sight, (there was) a lot of collusion” –  please stop picking at political scabs that now need to heal. Do what’s best for the country. Turn your attention to issues that affect American’s quality of life and stop fanning the flames of this horribly divisive fight.  The honorable thing to do would be to apologize for your obviously erroneous past statements and make a promise to better serve your constituents instead of your party.

Schiff Insisted Collusion Occurred

And, finally, to interested citizens who consume news.  Going forward, please, put on your critical thinking caps as you digest what the media tells you. You’ve already seen how partisan statements have been parroted as fact by the media.  Now, see the valueless blather of programming and publications that beat the same drum day after day. Get your information from a wide variety of sources not just the newspaper or channel that seems to bolster what you already think. Ask yourself if what you are hearing makes sense or seems like political spin.

We have all been duped for too long, lulled into thinking it possible that the occupant of the White House got in bed with the Russians to win the election.  We now know that is not true, no matter how badly political foes wanted it to be so.

One of the most often heard cries of skullduggery had to do with Donald Trump Jr’s. pre-election Trump Tower meeting with a Russian who promised dirt on his father’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. Guess what, folks? That’s the way politics has long been conducted. If someone claims they have negative information on your rival, you hear them out.  That’s just common sense not collusion with an enemy of the state.

This nation needs a political purge so badly, a flushing out of the system clogged by partisan politics and self-preservation.  There is a nationwide craving for leaders who have moral character, have achieved success through hard work and personal sacrifice.  The small businessperson, the educator, the farmer, the health care worker, the single parent who knows what failure tastes like but refuses to paint themselves part of the victim class.  These are the dedicated Americans we need to lead this country.

If we want quality candidates, we will have to pave the way for them, voting out those among the 535 members of the U.S. Congress who have selfishly manipulated the national conversation without remorse or apology.

We reap what we sow.  This corroded political system exists because the more than 235 million Americans of voting age let it exist.  Simple as that.




  1. Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Reader Tim Taylor writes:

    Congratulations Diane. I’m happy for you! It looks like you folks may prevail.

    Your King Donald I appears to be well on his way to consolidating your preferred authoritarian state.


  2. Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    Reader Alan Olster writes:

    Ms Dimond:

    When I first began reading your columns a few years ago you appeared to be more liberal leaning. Getting older does not automatically create more wisdom. More and more you have been negative towards folks critical of president Trump.

    In your column of 3/30 (Mueller lessons) you state that there was no collusion between US and Russia. You fail to mention the fact that Manifort shared critical polling information with the Russians who then targeted the Rust-belt states with messages that likely lead to Trump’s narrow wins in those states. Sure smells of collusion to me.

    Alan Olster

    • Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      Mr. Olster:

      First, there is no federal “collusion” crime. And, don’t you think that if Manafort’s sharing some poll data with the Russians was illegal that it would have been part of the the very vigorous prosecution of Manafort? The prosecution would, I suspect, have more than glad to add another charge to his lengthy indictment.


  3. Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    Mr. Olster:

    First, there is no federal “collusion” crime. And, don’t you think that if Manafort’s sharing some poll data with the Russians was illegal that it would have been part of the the very vigorous prosecution of Manafort? The prosecution would, I suspect, have more than glad to add another charge to his lengthy indictment.


  4. Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Reader Dan Troy writes:

    Hear. Hear. Great article. Well written. Very good message.

    Dan Troy
    From New Mexico.

  5. Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Reader Howard Breuer writes:

    That is true but I also say we have not solidly “learned” anything yet because we have too little info on the Mueller report, distilled by a biased source. An interesting twist in a very long, sad story that is by no means over.

  6. Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Reader Nancy Spieker Robel writes:

    Such a great article, Diane. People forget that we are still in charge (for now) and if we could get on the same page of what’s best for the citizens of this country, we would correct this political travesty by voting out these lame politicians who get nothing done.

  7. Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Reader Diane Burr writes:

    Release the full report. The Trump administration has lied about everything else, so why should we believe them when they say this?

    • Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 3:08 pm

      Reader Rich Bradley replies to Diane Burr:

      What is your problem? You act like there is (here we go again) more obstruction. Legally, grand jury testimony can’t be made public…in this report or any other one. That’s the law…read it, learn it. That will have to be redacted. So no one is going to get the full report, and it has nothing to do with your tin-foil conspiracy theories…it is existing law that came into play when DEMOCRATS objected to that information being released after the Clinton investigation in the 1990s. Now, after that, and after THE FBI scrubs it for sources and methods protection (not Trump, the FBI), it will be released. The president won’t get an advanced look; he has a right to it and a right to do further deletions for executive privilege, but has elected not to do so in full transparency. Grow a brain and stop promoting division over wild conspiracy stories, educate yourself on the law and current events, and take a lithium drip for a week or so…the report will be out shortly.

      • Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 3:08 pm

        Diane Burr replies to Rich Bradley:

        I’m likely more educated on this than you are. since you obviously have bought the Trump lies hook, line and sinker, you need to grow a brain, and some common sense. If the Trump administration had been honest from the beginning, we would never have had this controversy. So no, I don’t believe them.

  8. Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    Reader Lyn Novosel writes:

    WHY can;t Barr just publish the full report for all to see?

    • Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      Roy Merritt replies to Lyn Novosel:

      There are certain legal and security issues.

      • Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 3:13 pm

        Diane Dimond replies to Lyn Novosel:

        Because, Lyn,, think of it this way…..In the course of the Mueller investigation a witness at the top secret grand jury testified that Lyn Novosel was a Russian agent. Mueller’s investigators spend three weeks checking out that information and find it is false. Mueller must report the Lyn Novosel tip in the final report he sends to Attorney General Barr. But under the law NO ONE may reveal secret grand jury testimony to the public…not even an Attorney General. (And besides the charge against Lyn Novosel was not true so why besmerch her name by releasing it to the public?) So, now, Barr has to have his people go through the entire almost 400 page Mueller report, scrub out all such classified information (Like the Novosel tip from the grand jury) and then and only then may he send it up to Congress. That is the law.

  9. Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Reader Baxter Porter VI writes:

    This seems pretty premature.
    I haven’t even read the report yet. Have you?

    • Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 3:16 pm

      Diane Dimond replies to Baxter Porter VI:

      no, of course not….but we now know the bottom line conclusion: No one in the Trump campaign illegally “colluded” with the Russians to sway the outcome of the 2016 election. Yes…i want to read the WHOLE thing (or as much as can legally be released)…and as i wrote – I think its way too early for the Trump Team to do a victory dance. Embarrasssing things about their behaviors are likely to emerge.

  10. Diane Dimond on April 1, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Reader Maureen Flatley writes:

    Diane Dimond I don’t think you can reach that conclusion, Diane. The Mueller investigation was narrowly focused. In reviewing the indictments, convictions, plea deals and referrals there seems to be a pretty clear pattern that overlaps quite a bit. Lots of meetings w/ Russians. Lots of lying about everything. Senior campaign staff all implicated/convicted. The word YET springs to mind in my mind when it comes to concluding that “no one in the campaign illegally colluded.” It took Mueller seven years to make the Gotti case. As the daughter of the FBI Agent who handled Joe Valachi for the Senate Racketeering Committee it seems likely to me that there is far more to this than meets the eye. Mueller’s remark – reported by Barr – that the findings did not “exonerate” the President speaks volumes. This isn’t over.

  11. Diane Dimond on April 2, 2019 at 9:35 am

    Reader Beth Feldman writes:

    I do agree that I need to do a Rachel Maddow cleanse after this ordeal but somehow, I tend to believe that the Trump campaign was in cahoots with the Russians – not necessarily to sway the election but to ensure that he was going to make money with his hotel in Moscow if he didn’t win. Either way, Trump was going to win – he would make a fortune if he lost the election or get the GOP and Russia everything they wanted and more if he gets in. I mean, how many conservative Federal judges have been sworn in so far so that our children’s rights will practically be null and void by the time they actually become interested in politics. Was it all a diabolical plan to get into our minds and cloud our perception that Trump was the only viable candidate to vote for? Maybe it was – or maybe it was just a negative political smear campaign on steroids. I do agree that hopefully, there will be some candidates who emerge who we can truly believe in and trust. Otherwise, it will be four more years of reality TV and frankly, if that’s the case, I’ll be binge watching a lot of Netflix and Amazon prime until at least 2024.

  12. Diane Dimond on April 2, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Reader Jim Reynolds writes:

    The “Voice of Reason” — Diane Diamond. No one could say it better. It’s time to move on. If there was something “definitive” there, Director Mueller would have found it & “screamed” it from the highest mountaintop. He’s the current day “Walter Cronkite” , telling it like it is. So everybody, get off your soap boxes, stop crying in your beer & get about doing what the “people” need doing — addressing the “real” issues of this country with bipartisan cooperation and collaboration. The “people” deserve nothing less.
    Thank You, Diane Dimond

  13. Diane Dimond on April 2, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Reader Jeff Gold writes:

    Hello old friend. Hope all is well!
    I think it would he better to wait for the report. We haven’t seen one page of a 400 page report.
    The framers clearly intended not to judge the president as you would a common criminal. If they had, they would have made the Senate have to be unanimous to impeach. By making it a 2/3 vote, they showed that they intended the president to abide by a higher standard of conduct than a criminal defendant. As you know so well, OJ may have been acquitted by a criminal jury but was found liable by a civil jury.
    I think we should allow the evidence to speak for itself and not trust necessarily the press release version of Trump’s attorney general, who was after all selected because of his pre-judged view of the Special Counsel investigation. But even his summary expressly stated it did not exonerate the POTUS.
    It’s hard to accept your assertion that this was a politically motivated investigation when it was established by a Republican Trump appointee who selected a Republican Special Counsel. The only politics I see right now is the AG trying to keep the full report and all the evidence from Congressional Committees which routinely receive confidential intelligence info.
    I’ve learned so much from amazing journalists like you. Nothing like a dogged investigative reporter who only wants the correct facts. Let’s see the facts developed here before we judge the 400p book by the publishers blurb.

  14. Diane Dimond on April 2, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Reader Stephen Buchsbaum replies:

    Well said !!! I think everyone is just sick and tire of being sick and tired. Efforts need to be made on getting someone in the WH who represents the USA, as it should be.

  15. Diane Dimond on April 2, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Reader Catherine Whitney writes:

    I’ll wait for the report.

  16. Diane Dimond on April 2, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Reader Lillie Vaden writes:

    Will ever get to see it? Will Congress? Unredacted? We should be out there protesting! Demanding that Congress See’s it, unredacted, they do have security clearances!

    • Diane Dimond on April 2, 2019 at 9:39 am

      Diane Dimond replies:

      Many of the redacted portions, Lillie, will be SECRET grand jury testimony which, under law, cannot be revealed. Classified information about what specific US agents (spies) discovered has to be redacted so we don’t expose our own agents – again, that is a law. And, again, the report WILL BE RELEASED…but even after that I’m betting there will be some people who will howl that redactions = coverup when the DOJ is just following the law and removing classified information.

  17. Diane Dimond on April 2, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Reader Rob Brown writes:

    The media’s blind following of the Trump Russia fiasco is almost as bad as the WMD garbage they fed the US and the world leading to the illegal war in Iraq and hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.
    If you’re being told your news by a millionaire you might want to double check it

  18. Diane Dimond on April 2, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Reader Roberta Lipp writes:
    You’re going out on this limb based on essentially a book report? Not even cliff notes, just a non-summary (per Barr) opinion? I would think you would want to wait for the actual report.

    • Diane Dimond on April 2, 2019 at 9:40 am

      Diane Dimond replies:

      And I would think that you would understand that Robert Mueller – the man the world has been waiting to hear from has made the bottom line conclusion that there was NO COLLUSION between the Trump Campaign and the Russians to tip the election. Isn’t that what everyone has been wondering about all these months/years? Well, thats the bottom line conculsion. Wait…oh, now, I guess the problem is that the word came from William Barr?? And we don’t trust him because……? Look I can’t wait to read the whole thing…(minus the redactions which I fully understand) but there has to come a time when everyone accepts what Mueller concluded and we get on with our lives.

  19. Diane Dimond on April 2, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Reader Tom Cobin writes:
    I don’t think we can truly judge ANY of this unless / until we know more of what’s in the Mueller Report. If we had a patriotic Congress free of any partisan agenda and truly concerned for the Republic (as in the time of Watergate), we could hope to know whether in truth “plausible deniability” about alleged misdeeds morphed into intentional obstruction of justice.

  20. Diane Dimond on April 2, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Reader William Drummond writes:
    The very fact that an investigation was necessary is itself an indictment. The FBI does not investigate overtime parking tickets.

    • Diane Dimond on April 2, 2019 at 9:42 am

      Diane Dimond replies:

      ….And let’s not forget they were investigating the other presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, at the same time. And, now, thanks to the e-mail traffic between Struck and his girlfriend we do know that some of the top people at the FBI harbor deep political bias. The whole thing makes my stomach churn. beginning with: If the FBI thought the Russians were trying to infiltrate the Trump campaign why didn’t they go to Trump, warn him of the situation, wire him (or his associates) and trap the Russians at their own game? Isn’t the mission of the FBI to keep Americans safe?

  21. Diane Dimond on April 6, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    Reader Rev. Robert Langseth writes:

    Warm greetings. Thank you for your article “Hard lessons after Mueller probe.”
    I am in partial agreement that the probe became “a media assisted game of character assassination.” And I agree that the nation needs a “political purge.”

    But, it is President Trump who started my mistrust with all his lies. His lies and misrepresentations continue to this very day. You have given Trump a 100% pass and placed the root of the evil upon Congress saying it is ” the 535 members of Congress who have manipulated the national conversation without remorse or apology.”

    Please be fair! Trump is part of the problem. I want a free press and that includes your freedom to criticize and apologize.

    Rev. Robert Langseth

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